CORAL GABLES (CBSMiami) — A gunman is dead and two others were wounded in what police described as a dispute between an ex-employee and staff at a gym in Coral Gables.
Abeku Wilson, 33, a body-building enthusiast and ex-employee at the Equinox Fitness Club at the Shops at Merrick Park, is the alleged gunman.
The gym’s General Manager, Janine Ackerman, 35, and trainer, Marios Hortis, were in critical condition and airlifted to Ryder Trauma Center, according to CBS4 News partner The Miami Herald.
Miami-Dade Police said the ex-employee opened fire on his colleagues Saturday afternoon before taking his own life.
A witness and her husband were paying for drinks at the juice bar when she saw the gunman.
“I saw an African American guy, very tall, with a black shirt and black shorts,” she said. “He wasn’t smiling and the way he was holding his gun, he looks very serious and bam! bam! I could hear at least two shots first.”
The Herald reported that former Miami city commissioner, Marc Sarnoff, who trained with Wilson for about two years, said Wilson bumped into him and another trainer while they were working out, then apologized, saying he was “just off balance this morning” while nearly slurring his words.
Moments later, he entered the facility’s second floor and allegedly opened fire on Hortis and Ackerman.
Wilson was described as a nice and quiet guy, who was easily the most popular trainer at Equinox.
Those who knew him said the shooting was personal and had he wanted to, could have inflicted much more damage on the crowded gym full of regulars exercising and lifting weights.
A spokesperson for the gym released a statement.
“We can confirm that an incident occurred at our club in Coral Gables, Florida. We are working with all of the relevant authorities as they investigate the situation. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families impacted by this terrible tragedy. Out of respect for them and our entire Equinox family, we will refrain from commenting further until it is appropriate to do so.”